Gambling involves risking something of value (typically money) on an event that has an element of chance and the opportunity to win something else of value. This can be done in a variety of ways including: lottery tickets, scratchcards, cards, casino games, online betting, sports events, horse races, dice and bingo. People can have a gambling problem if they can no longer control their behaviour and it is causing them distress or harm in some way.

This definition of harm is different from previous measures, which have been based on problematic gambling diagnostic criteria or behavioural symptoms. It is broader and more holistic, in line with a public health approach to promoting wellbeing. It also recognises that harm may occur not just whilst someone is engaged in gambling but also at a later time and that it is often complex, involving multiple factors and the influence of comorbidities.

If you are worried that you have a gambling problem or think your partner has one, there are steps you can take to help. Speak to a therapist or attend a support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous. It is important to get support, especially if you are feeling depressed or anxious. You can also try getting into exercise, or spending time with family and friends, if possible. If you can’t stop gambling, consider cutting down on your losses by reducing how much you gamble, or stopping completely. Make sure you have enough money to pay your bills, and don’t hide evidence of gambling from your partner.